Michigan company’s highway sign trademark ruled not harmful

A federal judge has rejected an argument from state officials that a northern Michigan company's trademark of the highway sign M-22 violates federal law.

In 2006, M22 LLC trademarked the Michigan highway sign and now has a number of similar trademarks that store owners put on T-shirts, hats, coffee mugs and other items.

The state argued in its lawsuit against the company that it risks losing federal highway funding and suffering irreparable harm if it's prevented from barring a trademark on its highway markers.

U.S. District Court Judge Gordon Quist said April 21 that Michigan attorneys general were "speculative" in arguing the state is hurt by the company's trademark.

Quist said the case should go back a lower court to see if a state judge will hear the complaint.

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